NAIROBI, Kenya- National Super League (NSL) leaders Western Stima FC succumbed to their second loss of the season opening the door to KCB FC who clawed the gap at the top to five points over the weekend.
Western, who are seeking a swift return to the SportPesa Premier League (SPL) following their relegation last season fell 0-1 to fellow power men, Nairobi Stima FC at their Moi Kisumu Stadium backyard.
The bankers who are playing in their third season in the NSL, took advantage by beating beat another Stima side, Coast 2-0 to leave Western top of the standings on 35 with another ex-SPL outfit, Ushuru FC (29) rounding the top three.
The difference could be cut down to two should KCB and Ushuru win their game in hand over Western who have played 17 with head coach Richard Makumbi regretting the defensive mistakes he claims cost his side.
“My backline was very weak because we had two red cards in Geoffrey Ochieng and Mukhisa Junior.
“That was a big blow because losing two dependable players at one time it is not easy,” Makumbi told Citizen Digital having won 10, drawn five and lost two of their 17 games.
Simon Abuko and Dennis Ng’anga were on target for John Kamau’s KCB who remain on track to clinch one of the two automatic promotion slots to the 2019 SPL.
The former SPL side Thika United FC boss has seen the bankers win nine, draw three and lose four of their 16 games.
Head coach Ken Kenyatta and his taxmen missed the chance to claim second place after settling for a barren draw with struggling Eldoret-based GFE 105 FC (eight) who sit only three points above the drop zone.
After a stuttering start, Ushuru have made their way up the table, winning eight, drawing five and losing thrice but the inability to close matches they are dominating will be cause of concern for Kenyatta.
Former SPL Most Valuable Player, Ekhaliani Ndolo and forward Enock Agwanda were the main culprits, missing late chances to grab victory in the closing stages of their match against GFE at Camp Toyoyo, Nairobi.
After finding the side netting in the 87th, Ndolo contrived to miss an open chance after being put clean through by former SPL champions Gor Mahia FC forward Agwanda in the fourth minute of added time.
Earlier, Alex Sunga who gave the GFE a torrid time saw his curling effort cannon off the crossbar in the 75th minutes after Fan Ngaira blasted wide from outside the area in an encounter Ushuru rued their profligacy in front of goal ago.
The chasing pack is led by Nairobi and Kenya Police FC who are level on 28 apiece in fourth and fifth having recorded impressive wins where the men in uniform hammering Kakamega side Green Commandoes 4-1 at Karuturi Grounds in Naivasha.
Commandoes (11), the first school outfit to play in the second-tier of Kenyan football is 17th having lost their 10th match in their maiden NSL campaign.
Modern Coast Rangers FC (27), Kibera Black Stars FC (27) and Bidco FC (25 round up positions six to eighth in that order.
Modern silenced Bidco 2-1 at Mbaraki Stadium in Mombasa with the latter continuing their slide down the table having risen as high as second.
Administration Police bounced back from their 5-1 hammering on their last outing to edge out FC Talanta 1-0 at Camp Toyoyo.
-Report compiled by Martin Njuguna for SportPesa News
NSL WEEKEND RESULTS
|May 13, 2018||Modern Coast Rangers vs Bidco United||2 – 1||Mbaraki Sports Club|
|May 13, 2018||Western Stima vs Nairobi Stima||0 – 1||Moi Stadium Kisumu|
|May 13, 2018||Kenya Police vs Green Commandoes||4 – 1||Karuturi Grounds|
|May 13, 2018||Administration Police vs FC Talanta||1 – 0||Camp Toyoyo|
|May 12, 2018||Ushuru vs GFE 105||0 – 0||Camp Toyoyo|
|May 12, 2018||Kisumu All Stars vs Nairobi City Stars||0 – 2||Moi Stadium Kisumu|
|May 12, 2018||KCB vs Coast Stima||2 – 0||Camp Toyoyo|
|May 12, 2018||Kangemi All Stars vs Kibera Black Stars||1 – 2||Ruaraka Grounds|
|6||Modern Coast Rangers||16||7||6||3||24||19||5||27|
|7||Kibera Black Stars||16||8||3||5||17||15||2||27|
|9||Kisumu All Stars||16||7||4||5||12||12||0||25|
|10||Nairobi City Stars||16||6||6||4||19||17||2||24|
|11||Kangemi All Stars||16||6||3||7||19||23||-4||21|
|15||St Joseph Youth||14||2||8||4||18||16||2||14|
|19||Nakuru All Stars||15||1||2||12||8||28||-20||5|